Tuesday, September 24, 2013

iOS7 implementation of Multi-path TCP promises seamless mobility and perhaps more

Here is a really fascinating article and I picked up today on the implementation of Multipath TCP in the new Apple iOS 7.

What on Earth is Multipath TCP? Put simply it's the future of a smarter Internet. Yes, if you can believe it the Internet is about to get just that bit cleverer and being an old TCP/IP hack I think this is the most exciting thing in the protocols development since Path MTU discovery :-)

So what's the big news?   It means that you will be able to switch a stream of data on your phone. mobile device or wearable tech' and switch the data stream seamlessly from 4G to 3G to the wireless in your office and back again without losing the connection. so, you could be talking on your phone on 3G walk in to your office and have the call switch seamlessly to the nearest wireless hub same thing for video streams, location-based services or anything else that will stream over the Internet.

While for many this may all seem rather 'low level'  Multipath TCP  play a large part in the future  development of the Internet heralding a whole new era of 'smart' Internet and I foresee that it will have a massive impact on the structure, function & performance of the global infrastructure including in  delivering seamless load balancing.

More modest alternative to Oracles New 32Tb Database Appliance

I was following Oracles OpenWorld event this week and one of the things that caught my eye/ear was the launch of the new Oracle Database Appliance that is reckoned to run a 100x faster than anything seen before; delivering what Larry Ellison called  'ungodly speeds,' processing 'billions of columns per second.' though with prices ranging between $3.8 and $9.6m you had better have some deep, deep  pockets.

This resonated with me because here at BackChannel we use MySQL and recently we got to the point where our 'Big Data' needs got so big that we were just not able to process reports at an acceptable speed - you can only go off and make a coffee so many times in the day before you need blood pressure medication.

So with health insurance premiums in mind we approached our sister companies HPC team to design a "Big Data" platform and whilst it doesn;t have the multi-terrabyte capabilities of the new Oracle M5, the staggering performance we are getting from the VMCo designed system with 64 cores, Gbyte SSDs and 512Gb of RAM specifically designed and tuned for our application has delivered what appears to us to be pretty ungodly performance for less than $50k...

So, if you'd be interested in something similar for your business let me know and I'll put you in contact with their design team.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Webroot Migration - where their customers went

In 2012 a pretty successful hosted email security company called Webroot did the unthinkable they dumped their core product effectively saying it was "... no longer necessary".  Brave move or madness we're not really here to judge but we did decide to follow up with Webroot's customers and see if their customers shared the view that they no longer required a Cloud based mail security service 18 months later.
As you can see of the 3,810 Webroot customers we tracked 68% of them moved to a competing product.  Amongst Enterprise customers that figure was over 75%.  Webroot themselves now direct their mail via MS Outlook 365.  
Footnote - I've used the Webroot desktop product and it works fine, this exercise was undertaken purely to demonstrate the ability of our big-data engines to haul interesting and useful data.

Monday, March 11, 2013

New report highlights Mimecast South African sector growth

As those of you who follow us will know BackChannel produces a bi-annual Hosted Email Security report, a report that has been a must read for anybody working in the e-mail security market for over 5 years. The period January 2012 - 2013 has been one of the most dynamic have been some of the most interesting of recent years.
The data reported are a survey of over one million  'Live' email services" around the globe.  Data from this survey identifies the key vendors, their local & international coverage, market positions, customer profile and performance over time.  
The reports provide measured data blended with relevant demographic & geographic data enabling the reader to gain the clearest view of the worldwide market for these technologies.
One of the most dynamic of the developed markets has been South Africa where one company has grown to not only dominate its home market, but to take a seat at the top table of international vendors along with Microsoft, Google and Symantec, that company is Mimecast.
Mimecasts install base in South Africa grew significantly since we reported on their progress in 2012 growing their overall market share to 34% with this figure rising to 41% amongst larger Enterprise customers.  

Sales performance in certain sectors has seen as many as 52% of the companies in a sector choosing a service choosing Mimecast; you can see a breakdown of sector performance on their site  
Some comment on Mimecast and our research:

IT WEB South Africa article.
BlueChip Journal ICT
Financial Mail

Look out for more news from BackChannel on Cloud, PaaS & IaaS coming over the next few months.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Evernote Hack: A well a handled Cloud service hack

Being completely up front we love Evernote here at BackChannel, almost everyone uses it.

So it was a bit of a disappointment that a company that relies so heavily on its web infrastructure should fail to learn the lessons about 'crown jewels' security like  Microsoft, RSA, Twitter etc, etc...

As an old security guy I think they did exactly the right thing in in notifying their customers and forcing the password reset and I'm not alone in that opinion.  But as you would expect with 50,000,000 users needing to change their password; there have been numerous gotcha's for people who signed up with now defunct mail addresses, especially those who have recently upgraded and couldn't access their 'local' data as a result.  Checking out the community posts on the relevant Blog posting Evernote seem to be handling it fairly well and hopefully in future they will take more care.

As my Dad said 'Son the most valuable lessons learned are also the most expensive'
Anyhow final thought- If you're moving anything to a Cloud Service make sure you understand what you're buying into; make sure you can get to mission critical data in any circumstances, make sure your provider has a clear and documented policy on service denial, ensure they have a documented process for recovery and proper insurance against service failure & data loss - after all its not their data they're looking after it's yours.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Interactive Submarine Cable Map 2013

Those fine folks at Telegeography have published their Submarine Cable Map for 2013 and its jolly colourful

They also publish an interactive version which is a must have link for anyone involved or interested in the global telecommunications business.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Microsofts Office365 Telco Strategy should make Google nervous

AT&T last week joined Verizon and a pantheon of major service providers in the  rush to offer MS Office365 email services.  good start.
Should Google be concerned? Well, I'm sure Eric Schmidt remembers only to well what happened when MS decided to kill Netscape.

Running the numbers from research undertaken by BackChannel in September 2012 Microsofts strategy of partnering with giant telco's is already biting into Google Apps for Business.

The graph shows the distribution of O365 installations by company size.

We looked at 22,000 UK companies with a recognised service hosted mail service and found MS 0365 had nearly 700 installs; so about 3%.  Checking the underlying data we see that many of the Office365 customers identified were BT SMB customers migrated off of BTs own legacy mail service, others classed as SMB had churned from Google, larger organisations from a mixture of established providers.

We can firmly predict that AT&T, Verizon, Orange,Vodafone and the dozen others partnering with Microsoft globally will have the same effect. 
In short Office365 delivered in collaboration with the Big Telco's is the start of a serious fight back by Microsoft against GoogleMail and Apps for Business and it is clearly off to a good start.

Should Google be concerned? Well, I'm sure Eric Schmidt remembers only to well what happened when MS decided to kill Netscape.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A trip down memory lane: From Mosaic to Chrome

Having been online since the late 80's Browsers have been like the soundtrack to my career from the early days of Gopher, Veronica & Archie to the arrival of Marc Andreessen's ground breaking Mosaic they've been a constant feature in my life. 
Here is a terrific little youtube documentary on the birth of the Netscape and the Web Browser and its untimely death after Microsoft decided it was time to take control of the market and launch Internet Explorer.

An interesting cameo and link between Netscape & Chrome is Eric Schmidt; who in 1998 as CEO of Novell integrated  Novonyx the Novell/Netscape joint venture into the main Novell business.  Schmidt shocked the industry in 2001 by jumping ship to join startup Google.  The rest is history, or is it?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mobile Data growth in Europe to slow as users rely more on WIFI

A really nice piece in Fierce Wireless, with graphs, from our friends over at Analysys Mason - another of us terrific Cambridge Research Companies.


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Fragmented market for $1 trillion worth of telecoms business sales

Provision of telecoms services for the world’s biggest companies is remarkably diverse. A survey carried out exclusively for GTB by BackChannel shows that the world’s biggest 500 companies do not concentrate their custom on a few key operators, and the operators themselves work in a highly fragmented market

Nearly 60% of the IP services that AT&T delivers worldwide go to US-based customers. Of the world’s large operators it is one of the most focused on its home market — only one percentage point above China Telecom’s focus on China for the IP services it delivers.
Both companies, this exclusive survey appears to show, have a long way to go to spread their business away from their respective home markets.
By contrast NTT Communications provides slightly more
Article by Alan Burkitt-Gray Editor Global Telecoms Business

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Dropbox security breach

As shown by the recent breach of security at 'everyman' Cloud darling Dropbox goes to show no matter what suppliers sell to you, cloud storage is not completely secure.  So todays lesson is that if you're going to trust data to any Cloud service make sure you can take control of the encryption.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

South African Hosted Email Security Update

Back in January we reported that Mimecast had taken control of the South African market after having grown at an extraordinary rate for the previous 18 months, We 1st identified Mimecast as a rising star 3 years ago when they 1st came to the notice on the world stage taking market share in Europe, Australia & North America.  

Mimecast has definitely been an organisation to watch over the past two years. We think its continued growth is indicative of both its presence as a growing force within the worldwide cloud-based email security services landscape as well as the uptake in remotely managed product offerings within the South African market

Market penetration for cloud-based email technologies is particularly high in South Africa at 33%. In fact, the country is up there with first world territories such as the US,UK and Scandinavia, all well known for their openness towards new technologies and services.

Six months on the July 2012 BackChannel reports shows that Mimecast's market share growth has continued to accelerate, extending its installed base by 170% over 2 years, a strong performance even against an overall market growth in South Africa of a not-too-shabby 40%.

We think the vendor landscape in South Africa is a microcosm of ICT worldwide in general, showing that focus is almost certainly the key to winning in a technology marketplace. The fact that Mimecast focuses on what it does best. Competitors have fallen to the wayside due to a lack of emphasis on core service offerings; in comparison, Mimecast has continued to offer premium products and services which meet customer needs. That’s why they are the market leaders in South Africa and increasingly on the world stage.

Monday, July 16, 2012

BackChannel Publish 9th Email Security Services Report

At BackChannel we use unique search engine technology to reveal actual Cloud and IP services usage & identify real market trends amongst over 1 million organisations worldwide.  Every 6 months we use this 'hard-numbers' research to report on to produce twenty definitive reports detailing the performance of the world's leading service providers including those delivering e-mail security/unified e-mail management services.   

Who's up, who's down, regional & sector trends, new market entrants, plus the impact of M&A and of the release of new products (Webroot, you know we're watching you.) 

Emerging blinking into the daylight after several weeks of marathon number crunching we're ready to share with you a few of the insights we have gained after publishing this our 9th major survey of the industry.  Over the next few weeks we will be releasing both samples of the data itself and some of our thoughts about this dynamic and growing market.

So, if you're interested in Cloud based services be sure to bookmark this blog now.  If you're interested to know more about the Email Security Services Reports then please contact me directly and one of us will get back to you.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Submarine cable map 2012

The folks at Telegeography are producing another one of their great maps.

Why not take a look.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vodafone snaps up Cable & Wireless

Vodafone looks to have succeeded in its ambition to buy up commercial network provider Cable & Wireless for a projected £1.04 billion ($1.76 billion), or about 40% of the estimated break up value of the company.

Assuming it is successful, Vodafone will gain; a national fibre-optic broadband network that is separate from BT or Virgin Media's), a massive portfolio of business customers and a global backbone infrastructure that reaches out to over 160 countries via its network of undersea cables. 

Suggestions are that the latter will probably be sold off so that Vodafone can concentrate on winning more enterprise customers at home, which is probably what they will do.  Though as a long term play, especially if they are interested in servicing large enterprise customers, I think that would be as strategically unwise as the BT forced sale of its mobile phone business...

C&W has a lot of customers but not as many as you might think, remember they have been in serious decline for over 10 years, I rather consider them to be the GEC/Marconi of the UK Telecoms Industry, the parallels are clear.

The real coup with this acquisition is not the customers or the international fibre, it is that UK national fibre infrastructure that they will take possession of as the deal completes.   Since 2010 when the use of smart phones and mobile devices saw the cellular data traffic move ahead of voice the one the largest cost-of-service-delivery items has been the amount of money that Vodafone has had to pay to BT for backhaul, and from here on in the Vodafone will benefit from the coming explosion in mobile (I don;t think mobile is even ouf the gate yet...)

Bottom line. Buying up C&W gives Vodafone its own infrastructure the reduction in backhaul costs will dramatically improve its revenue per user with all the potential advantages that this brings forth customers and investors.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

TATA leaves C&W Worldwide a sinking ship

Tata Communications 11th hour withdrawal from negotiations with Cable & Wireless Worldwide sent the troubled companies shares into free-fall yesterday and left the way clear for Vodafone to snap up a bit of a bargain.

The estimated breakup value of Cable & Wireless is estimated to be around £2 1/2 billion, approximately £.90 per share. This may have led to the Cable & Wireless board to reject the £.42 a share offer made by Tata.  With CW shares standing at £.31 each as I type this, you wonder if they've gained anything.

Over the years of watching the ups and downs and further downs of Cable & Wireless it's often occur to be and my colleagues at Cable & Wireless would be a better fit with British Telecom supporting their increasingly successful BT Global Services organisation.

Here is an interesting if not terribly well-informed article posted on interactive investor on the 16th which goes into rather more details. The comment that Cable & Wireless is the provider of choice for 70 of the FTSE 100 companies is terribly wide of the mark, after years of decline Cable & Wireless is left as one of the many, many, many, providers that service the U.K.'s largest companies.  Don't believe the PR spin Cable & Wireless's position amongst these organisations is way behind that of BT Group and Verizon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

GMail fail should act as Cloud Warning

It was as recently as November 2011 that RIMs Blackberry server farms were unable to supply e-mail services to millions of customers for days, to the great delight of Starbucks customers and commuters worldwide…

Gmails short outage this week has caused quite a long conservation amongst users and the world's press. The system was out for about an hour and seems to affected about 10% of users. In the grand scheme of things this outage is not really significant and I wonder how many users put it down to failures at their ISP or if they were mobile ‘just another coverage failure’.

But once again this minor Gmail failure is a reminder that cloud-based services and applications are out of control of their users.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

iCloud migration foobar infuriates customers

Whilst not directly related to the corporate cloud environment the current shenanigans at Apple are a reminder of some other things that can go wrong when a company tries to force its users down a cloudy path.

For many years Apple have run a very successful cloud-based service called MobileMe to which I am a subscriber it's very useful allowing you to sync  e-mail, contacts, bookmarks etc across multiple devices (Apple devices of course). This required and Apple ID and an associated e-mail address so far so good I have a separate Apple ID that I set up with my regular e-mail address when our first used iTunes so now I have two separate  Apple ID's Upton house will work fine now I'm being coerced into using iCloud up to now this has all worked fine however like hundreds of thousands of other users are now being coerced into using iCloud as the Mobile me service comes to an end; requiring me to update to the Lion operating system, but that is another story.

You wouldn't think this should cause too many problems. However I couldn't figure out how to merge the two accounts. So, going online I typed “merge Apple ID” to find hundreds of posts on the web and hundreds more in the Apple support forum all asking the same question "how can I do this and not lose my iTunes/Apps/Mail/Contacts". 

It turns out that there is no way to merge Apple IDs across iCloud, iTunesStore and AppStore for those  using Mobile Me or who regularly use the DRM enabled iTunes store or the APPStore to buy music and software the synchronisation issues this become a significant problem when moving to the new iCloud.

Here is what happened when "MacRumors" reader Robert emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook about the issue, and quickly received a phone call from an Apple executive relations employee. She had spoken to the team responsible for Apple IDs and acknowledged that they understood the issue and that more people would run into the problem with iCloud. She also repeated that there is no way yet to combine accounts but revealed they are working on it. In the meantime, she recommended picking a single account to plan on keeping indefinitely and to make all future purchases on that account." 

That's the best information we have to date.

Apple failed to run an effective beta programme or to have trialled the systems in a real world scenarios. As a result customers are dissatisfied and are using all sorts of unsupported workarounds.  In consumer world vendors like Apple, Microsoft, et al seem to have the luxury of being able to ignore their customers ire, if & until they get around to fixing it.  Ask yourself this - as a department head commissioning a Cloud service or a service provider building one will you share that luxury?

This debacle should act as a cautionary tale and reminder that Clouds are 'there to meet the customers needs' not demonstrate the 'completeness the vendors vision.' 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Microsoft's cloudy platform, Windows Azure, is experiencing a major outage: at the time of writing, its service management system had been down for about seven hours more

I worry about the concept of a completely Cloud strategy, I have been working for, around and with Service Providers for 25 years and I have never seen one that hasn't occasionally been snafu'd by some unexpected thing, but when the Cloud providers environment is almost an OS in itself, the potential for mayhem rises at an rate exponential to it's complexity.

Over the next few years this technology will undoubtedly settle down and become a solid underpinning of most businesses but for now we'll be keeping our mission critical servers in fully DR'd co-locates that we control.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mimecast takes South African Market by Storm

As part of the BackChannel bi-annual Hosted Email Security report we used our advanced search engine technology to electronically survey over 3,600 organisations in South Africa* in order to discover the actual market share amongst competing vendors for these type of services.  The results for South Africa were particularly interesting so I thought we would share them with you. 

Our research data shows Mimecast having an increasing impact in several regions around the world.  In particular Mimecast have made excellent gains in the South African market and at the end of the full year 2011 had grown their customer base in South Africa significantly ahead of the market to become the dominant provider of hosted email security & management solutions in the region.

When we first started tracking their activities of this market in 2006 Mimecast was a new kid on the block, this year they won the 2011 CRN 'Security Vendor of the Year' and our latest reports show them taking control of the South African market and growing at a terrific pace worldwide. I wondered what was driving the business?  So, I spoke to Garth Wittles, SVP & General Manager at Mimecast South Africa, who has been with the company since the beginning. 

Garth said: "At Mimecast we specialise in email management delivered from the cloud (UEM-Unified Email Management). Email Security is part of our unified platform designed to reduce cost, risk and complexity for our customers and it's an essential cloud service for MS Exchange users."

What part does archiving play? “We know we have had market leadership in cloud archiving for some time, but this is the first time it extends to Cloud Email Security.”

On taking control of the South African market his comment was "We certainly have had a strong focus on developing  market leadership as well as achieving market share penetration of 40% in a number of verticals."

*BackChannel monitor the use hosted email security services amongst approximately 1,000,000 organisations worldwide, tracking the use of 60+ international service providers.  We also undertake bespoke research projects on internet connected services and their providers.

For further information on currently available reports contact info@backchannel.co.uk

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Distribution of sales of email Hygene Services USA 2008

For the last 5 years we at BackChannel have been tracking the use of email hygiene services by organisations around the world.
We started with Messagelabs - now Symantec.cloud, Frontbridge - now Microsoft, Postini, MXLogic - now McAfee, Blackspider - now Websense in the USA and UK.  Over the intervening years we went on to include new and upcoming players like Google, Mimecast, Trend & zScaler and our range of deeply profiled regions expanded to 17 including France, Germany, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Scandinavia.
Today we track the use of 40+ services by over 1 million organisations in upwards of 50 countries.
We are proud to have been able to help many of these companies achieve  sales and business development goals and in some cases to support company valuations and investment rounds.
We will shortly be releasing our January 2012 Analysis of the use of these services and we will post our findings for the Fortune Global 500 companies here on this blog.
In the mean time here is a fun interactive 2008 chart showing state by state distribution of the sales by those key players. Have fun comparing them and pondering on why Messagelabs was strong on the East Coast and Postini in the West.

2008 USA email hygiene service sales, by state.

Those of you who know us well may know that we also profile the use of all major telecoms services including Access, Hosting and CDN services.  So if you are interested in the services used by a customer or competitor, if you are selling into these markets or if your a CIO who wants to know what their company really buys around the globe; why not contact us on +44 (0)1223 968481 and see what an innovative  Cambridge company can add to the mix.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fortune Global 500

500 Companies
20,000 divisions and subsidiaries
$20 trillion dollars of turnover

Every year this exclusive group of the worlds biggest companies buys $740bn of Telecoms services.

Ever wondered where the Fortune Global 500 spend that colossal telecoms budget?  BackChannel has been busy finding out.

In the new year we will start to reveal all...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Virtual Machine Company Server replacements lower cost of service delivery

These guys are starting to pop up a lot in the UK.  Their Hyper-dense virtualization appliance is a turnkey replacement for commodity servers and being able to run more VMs in less power and cooling is a great message for these tough times in the hosting world.  Worth a look

Virtual Machine Company announces next-generation virtualization appliances

The following release was sent today to coincide with the release of our latest range of Hyper-dense server virtualization appliances
  • outperforms all current commercial and custom-built servers in independent Geekbench power and performance testing1
  • comfortably runs more virtual machines and delivers class-leading savings on energy, cooling, software licensing, and datacentre real estate
  • the worlds fastest, most cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly commercial computing platform
April 12, 2011 Cambridge, UK
The Virtual Machine Company (VMC) today announced the launch of the next generation of its server virtualization appliances.
Built around the latest AMD 12-core processors, with highly-optimised RAM options up to 512 gigabytes, and fast and cool solid-state storage, the two new servers can host unprecedented numbers of virtual machines running the most demanding commercial computing applications.
The new VMC appliances use less power, require fewer software licenses, and take up less rack-space space than anything else on the market.
For example, a mid-range 24 Core, 192 Gb RAM VMC virtualization appliance comfortably accommodates 50 or more virtual machines running processor and memory-intensive applications of the kind usually confined to non-virtual environments; tasks such as rendering video, enterprise-scale databases, and huge FTP batch operations. All of this while consuming less than 307 watts (1.43 amps) at peak loading. Average power consumption for competitor machines delivering this much firepower is more than 900 watts.
Virtual Machine Company Head of R&D, Nick Hutton, said:
This is exciting, high-performance computing meets boring stability and cost-effectiveness. The top of the Geekbench league table is usually dominated by "custom rigs" built by clever enthusiasts or researchers. I am proud of our development team for productising and normalising unrivalled power and performance with such impressive stability and economy.
AMD Head of Commercial Marketing EMEA, Stefano Chiavegati, commented:
We developed the AMD Opteron 6100 Series processor to meet 21st Century commercial computing demands for the optimum balance between power, reliability, cost and environmental considerations. The Virtual Machine Companys Server Virtualization Appliances tick all of those boxes and more.
1 http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/top

Fewer software licences

VMware requires an expensive licence for every pair of processors. Because the new VMC virtualisation appliances use AMDs processor core-dense CPUs, the licence-to-virtual-machine ratio becomes much more favourable. For example, when virtualising an estate of 240 servers running Windows Server, one customer saved an additional £180,000 in year-one capital expenditure by using VMC Virtualisation Appliances to deliver a hyper-dense solution.

Models and configurations

Two standard appliances are available with additional configuration options
  • VA 1200 Series Server Virtualization Appliance: 1U, Dual Processor 24 Core minimum configuration 64GB RAM
  • VA 2400 Series Server Virtualization Appliance: 2U, Dual Processor 48 Core minimum configuration 128GB RAM
  • For detailed technical specifications please visit: www.virtualmachineco.com/virtualization_appliances.htm

Pricing and availability

The new VMC 1200 Series Appliance is available immediately with a base configuration price of £9,500. The VMC 2400 Series Appliance will ship at 2011 with prices starting at £15,500.
VMC Appliances are available in through VMC's exclusive distributor, Computerlinks http://www.computerlinks.co.uk/


Five-year, next business day on-site and 24 x 7 support contracts are available.

Whois Lookup
Zip Code Maps

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Orange Huawei so good you pay for it twice!

Sorry for the lack of recent posts but we're up to our ears in the latest development project - A complete profile of the Fortune Global 500.  We are busy profiling the telecoms & IP services used by the 325,000 companies, subsidiary companies and regional offices that make up the index.

But I couldn;t let this one pass.

Well here is a great story on TelecomTV.  Huawei and Orange are offering a Signal Booster service on all the new Huawei Android phones that switches the cellular traffic out via your wifi, so if you have no phone signal in the house you can still use your mobile... Genius you cry!!

Except it's not - you have to pay for the call, at your normal network rate even though you are using your own broadband connection saving Orange a packet (sic).

I use Skype, a lot, and when I am in the house I route my DDI calls to the Skype on my iPhone and I make international calls outbound same way.

Give it a go it works a treat

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Further disruption to Middle-East Internet Services

Interruptions to Middle Eastern Internet services seem to be a bit of a theme over the last few years; but when you actually look at the maps of the undersea networks in the area you get to see something of the scale of the difficulty. In the same way as virtually all trade with the East used to go through the old Silk Route the modern day equivalent is a cluster of submarine cable systems in and around the Red and Arabian Seas.

Here are very few submarine cable maps that you might find interesting.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Experience with Cloud Computing after earthquake in Japan

While the Email and Web servers of local governments in the effected areas of Japan went down last month, government staff utilised Social Media technologies on the cloud, such as Twitter, Facebook and Google, to communicate with Japanese citizens.

The resiliency and the effectiveness of these Cloud providers in sustaining and enabling collaboration has been pretty impressive in enabling communications in very difficult circumstances and has done a lot to boost peoples positive view of Cloud services.  Whether it is Japanese Government officials using Twitter from their mobiles, or Libyans using dial up Modems to access Facebook. 

Lately I have read a number of comments suggesting that it is the resiliency of the Cloud that has been the facilitator, it hasn't it is the underlying architecture of the Internet.

Internet is Internet; a global IP based network, resilient self healing and designed to survive a global nuclear war.  On top of which IP has had over 45 years of open development through groups like the IETF.

Cloud however is a philosophy of moving services to a more cost effective shared infrastructure where you gain the advantages economies of scale available there.  At the moment what most people talk about as Cloud are a series of commercial services accessible over the Internet, developed to varying levels of resilience and vulnerable to influences such as the financial failure of the provider, the law, change in corporate direction; EMC briefly switched off their Atmos storage cloud service last year, before reopening it again almost immediately.  

Whilst it is true that Twitter/Facebook etc are well managed, backed up, accessible and generally robust . We are a long way from the reality of bespoke Cloud delivered services for business that cannot be disrupted, switched off or simply become inaccessible.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Hosted email security: The 2011 market report - Now in it's 5th year

Your opportunity to find out who's using these services, who's winning market share and who's falling behind.

Now in it's 5th year BackChannel's flagship survey has been expanded again to cover the use of hosted email hygiene services amongst a million organisations & businesses in 17 key countries.

The reports covers 40+ service providers including all your favourites; Messagelabs, Microsoft, Google/Postini, Webroot and many localised service providers you may not have heard.

It's been an interesting and turbulent year find out who's up, who's down and whether those $100s of millions spent on acquisitions in this sector are paying off.

A must read for executives, investors and any business involved in the delivery or purchase of email security products and services.

Interested in sourcing a copy then drop me a mail and either me or one of the BackChannel team will get back to you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

LTE promises 100Mbps mobile handset, with 180 operators investing in 70 countries

LTE, or Long Term Evolution, will hopefully lead us to That state of ubiquitous of connected Nirvana at some point; but don't hold your breath.  Verizon in the US is delivering an average of 8Mbps in some urban areas.  

But as tha GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) reports 180 operators investing in LTE in 70 countries and the EU Government promising to invest in an LTE infrastructure for Europe, maybe we could all be using up our 5Gb a month data allowance in a single morning rather sooner than you might think.

Research from GSA  Updated 'Evolution to LTE' report published has confirmed LTE as the fastest developing system in the history of mobile telecommunications.

LTE operator commitments are developing faster than they did for HSPA, which until now had been the fastest developing mobile communications system.

The report confirms 128 firm operator commitments to deploy commercial LTE systems in 52 countries, and a further 52 “pre-commitment” trials or pilots in an additional 18 countries.

The report covers both LTE FDD and LTE TDD modes.

The number of operators investing in LTE in deployments or trials has increased by more than 140% over the past 12 months. The number of countries where LTE systems are deployed or planned has increased by 85% in the same period.

It's anticipated that at least 64 LTE networks will be in commercial service by end 2012, according to the report.

The LTE eco-system is rapidly developing. User devices are now coming into the market in increasing numbers and addressing all product segments including USB modems/dongles, PC cards, routers, personal WiFi hotspots, smartphones, tablets, gaming devices, and more.

All I can say is sooner the better at the moment most of the world is stuck in a halfway house where mobile devices show massive promise but all to often just don't deliver the goods.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Start the New Year with a little light rock

Here at BackChannel we hope everyone's new year is off to a great start.
I thought we'd start off as we mean to go on with a little light entertainment.
Not exactly music of the spheres, more music of the servers. But, very entertaining.
This year we are researching the use of Virtualisation Technologies in commercial datacentres.  So say tuned...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Seasons Greetings

We're closing down for Christmas on the 23rd and will be back at our posts on the 4th of January, 2011.  We'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for their support this year and to wish you all a very merry Christmas. 

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Demand for Colocation outstripping demand

As co-location requirements soar providers are struggling to keep up with demand.
New data from TeleGeography’s Colocation Database reveal that colocation service providers are struggling to keep up with demand. Despite significant new construction, colocation site capacity is more constrained in 2010 than it was in 2009. More than 41% of sites surveyed by TeleGeography were at least 80% full at mid-2010, up from 34% of sites a year earlier.

Among the worst hit areas are London and the South of England, where surging power costs and a squeeze on physical space are causing colocation costs to rocket.  With wholesales power costs set to raise 13% over the next year and potentially over 100% before the end of the decade.  The use of power efficient data-centre equipment is going to be critical to the ability of service providers to compete.

Happily our new range of Virtualization Appliances are over 30% more efficient than the average data-centre server